Montana may be one of the first states to issue state-wide Airbnb laws for short-term rental owners and hosts. New definitions were suggested in House Bill No. 327, where short-term rental or Airbnb activity would be excluded from residential community covenants. Unless otherwise stated in the terms of your covenant, the following restrictions may apply:  

  1. “Business use”, “business purpose”, “commercial use”, or “commercial purpose” includes a business that requires a license, permit or certification issued by a state health department or a local health department.
  2. “Residential use” or “residential purpose” includes the lease or rental of a home, dwelling, or lot for a home or dwelling, for a term of not less than 30 days. 

Across the U.S., cities have defined short-term rental business activity as a rental period of 30 days or less. With this in mind, the Montana bill may essentially ban short-term rentals. Now’s the time to check the terms of your covenant to see how it defines business activity.  

Cities within Montana, such as Bozeman, already enforce short-term rental regulations including a registration process (Short-Term Rental Registration Portal & Instructions in Bozeman). The City understands Airbnb is a business and requires hosts to undergo a similar process to other local businesses – identify the business type, apply for the appropriate license, and under inspections. 

Many cities and communities across the U.S. have implemented restrictions over short-term rentals and Airbnb / Vrbo, but are slow to enforce regulations across the board. We will update details here as we receive new information on what this means for your short-term rental business in MT. The bill should go to vote in Spring 2021.  

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